Saturday, November 12, 2011

Obama Redefines No Child Left Behind as "No Child Left With a Behind"

Obama took this kid's hands.

Give the president a hand.

Now he's pressing to make it easier to do that to more kids.  As long as they're enemies of our increasingly failing, flailing state.

I.  Cluster bombs have long been one of the most important components of of the American terror arsenal.  They have been outlawed by 111 countries.  The main opponent of that global policy is the United States.  I hoped that would end when Obama was elected.

Boy, was I stupid.

Not only did he get this kid all but whacked, he's killed hundreds of other little boys and girls a lot like him, and his people try to lie to cover it up.  The cluster bomb attack:
Amnesty International has released images of a US-manufactured cruise missile that carried cluster munitions, apparently taken following an attack on an alleged al-Qa’ida training camp in Yemen that killed 41 local residents, including 14 women and 21 children.

The 17 December 2009 attack on the community of al-Ma'jalah in the Abyan area in the south of Yemen killed 55 people including 14 alleged members of al-Qa’ida.

“A military strike of this kind against alleged militants without an attempt to detain them is at the very least unlawful. The fact that so many of the victims were actually women and children indicates that the attack was in fact grossly irresponsible, particularly given the likely use of cluster munitions,” said Philip Luther, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme.
Further description of Obama's weapon of choice on Yemeni, Iraqi, Somali and Afghan kids:
Shortly after the attack some US media reported alleged statements by unnamed US government sources who said that US cruise missiles launched on presidential orders had been fired at two alleged al-Qa'ida sites in Yemen.

“Based on the evidence provided by these photographs, the US government must disclose what role it played in the al-Ma'jalah attack, and all governments involved must show what steps they took to prevent unnecessary deaths and injuries,” said Philip Luther.

The photographs enable the positive identification of damaged missile parts, which appear to be from the payload, mid-body, aft-body and propulsion sections of a BGM-109D Tomahawk land-attack cruise missile.

This type of missile, launched from a warship or submarine, is designed to carry a payload of 166 cluster submunitions (bomblets) which each explode into over 200 sharp steel fragments that can cause injuries up to 150m away. An incendiary material inside the bomblet also spreads fragments of burning zirconium designed to set fire to nearby flammable objects.
The initial Obama response:
Amnesty International has requested information from the Pentagon about the involvement of US forces in the al-Ma'jalah attack, and what precautions may have been taken to minimize deaths and injuries, but has yet to receive a response.
The expanded, current Obama response - he wants to kill more and more kids in these never-ending wars:
Britain is backing a US-led plan to torpedo the global ban on cluster bombs, in what MPs and arms campaigners fear is an attempt to legitimise the use of weapons that are widely deemed to be inherently indiscriminate.

In recent years, the UK has played a leading role in trying to rid the world of cluster bombs. It is one of 111 countries that have signed up to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, is on target to destroy its own stockpile, and has ordered the US military to remove any submunitions it holds on British soil.

But The Independent has learnt that the UK Government is supporting a Washington-led proposal that would permit the use of cluster bombs as long as they were manufactured after 1980 and had a failure rate of less than one per cent. Arms campaigners say the 1980 cut-off point is arbitrary, and that many modern cluster bombs have far higher failure rates on the field of battle than manufacturers claim.

The international community is gathering in Geneva next week to discuss the proposal, which will be tabled as a new protocol for the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons – a UN treaty from the early 1980s that forbids the use of "excessively injurious" weapons such as mines, booby traps, incendiary devices and blinding lasers.

The world's major cluster bomb manufacturers – which include the US, Israel, Russia, China, South Korea, India and Pakistan – have all refused to sign up to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. They plan to push through a less restrictive treaty in Geneva next week.

Arms campaigners say the draft proposal would effectively legalise almost all cluster bombs and be a nail in the coffin of the hard-won cluster bomb ban, which is all but two years old. Austria, Norway and Mexico are leading opposition to the American-led proposal.
II.  My first experience with people exposed to U.S. terror policies involving cluster bombs was over 38 years ago, in early 1973.

I was music director of a Seattle radio station - KRAB FM.  I was in Vancouver, BC, hoping to get an interview with a Chinese musician, as part of my efforts to put a human face on Chinese artists at the time the U.S. was beginning to show some sanity in our relationship with China. Two of my station colleagues, Roy Harvey and Karen Engstrom, were also in Vancouver, interviewing Scandinavian doctors and nurses who were passing through Vancouver on their way back from Hanoi-Haiphong, to their homes.  These medical practitioners had just witnessed our first massive cluster bomb campaign, an important, but yet largely unrecognized aspect of Operation Linebacker II, sometimes called Nixon's Christmas.

I sat in on two of their interviews.  It was unnerving.  What was being described was an intentional campaign to destroy innocent North Vietnamese civilian infrastructure, bodies, souls and hopes.  The weapons, cluster bombs, were insidious in the way they enhanced Linebacker II's goals.

The bombs' bomblets were, according to the Swedes, Finns and Latvians we listened to, clad in magnesium.  Inside were fiberglass balls and shards, white phosphorus and propellant explosive.  In use in the campaign, they penetrated human flesh in seemingly innocuous and medically operative ways.  But the X-ray machines could not detect the fiberglass balls and shards.  They were causing hemorrhage.

When doctors attempted to find what was causing the hemorrhage, they had to excavate into wounds to the point that victim after victim simply bled to death during the fruitless searches.

The doctors and nurses said that the injuries so overwhelmed the Hanoi-Haiphong medical infrastructure that they begged the country's leadership to "return to the negotiating table" with the U.S. regarding the stalled peace negotiations.  According to them, it worked.

Although I had experienced hatred directed to me as an American before these interviews, it was my first experience like that from people with whom I had thought there would always be rapport.  They could not hide their hatred for me.  I was ashamed.

Needless to say, National Public Radio, with which we had recently begun to affiliate at KRAB, did not want to touch Harvey and Engstrom's report with a ten-foot pole.  Pacifica only aired a very sanitized version of their efforts. 

While driving back to Seattle from Vancouver, we were listening on the radio to Dmitri Shostakovich's great 8th string quartet on the radio.  I finally understood the work.  He had written it in Dresden in 1960, after seeing first-hand the remaining destruction from the U.S.-U.K. firebombing of that city in February, 1945.

The horror Shostakovich had felt finally struck home.  I cried openly, in front of my friends, who were also so shaken by our introduction to how people feel about U.S. use of cluster bombs on innocent civilians:

Part One:

Part Two:


Anonymous said...

So how do we stop this?

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 1:25 - some of us have been trying, one way or another, for 40 years. The 1%-ers who make these evil contraptions pay off one general, Representative, Senator and President at a time.

Anonymous said...

"The expanded, current Obama response - he wants to kill more and more kids in these never-ending wars..."

President Obama wants to kill kids.


It's not too late to get Todd and Sarah into the White House. Better get on it. You can be foreign policy advisor.
Wasilla churches, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh will thank you.

Anonymous said...

Phil Munger you are absolutely disgusting! What the fuck is wrong with you? Are you sick in the head? You are as foul as foul can get. You call yourself progressive? There is nothing that you state that falls even remotely into progressive thought. You are the epitomy of REGRESSIVE, poisoning the discourse on the back of our president. I wish you constant, unbearable, visceral pain for the lies and misinterpretations that you continually post about our president. You should be ashamed, but you aren't. You are a really sick, sick, twisted soul and it is my fervent intention that you rot in hell.

Anonymous said...

I'm beginning to believe that it's as simple as not liking a Black guy as the president.
Munger is a career corrections officer; a jail guard. Not known for intelligence, kindness or compassion in the Alaska community. Nor progressive viewpoints.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin for President! Take our country back from uppity Black oppression!
And Sarah's way hotter than First Lady Michelle. And her kids are way cuter than the Obama girls.

Philip Munger said...

@ 11:26 am -

So you're denying that the president's orders in Yemen killed innocent kids, or that his policy of seeking to continue to use these weapons against civilians will not result in the deaths of more innocent kids? If so, you are a complete and utterly immoral fool.

To claim that McCain or Palin or some other GOP fool would kill more kids than does Obama, is a shamelessly meretricious point of view.

Anonymous said...

This is what war does. Not the U.S. president, personally.

Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Air Force Theater Hospital was set up to stabilize injured troops before they could be airlifted elsewhere. It was not designed for children, and though hundreds have arrived in recent years – many of them mangled in bombings – supplies to treat them remain limited when compared to a major U.S. hospital.!/image/1518892996.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_490/1518892996.jpg

Anonymous said...

Jumping bald headed Jesus Phil you sure attract some doozie comments.

I wonder who the people are who actually build these things. Not the corporations but the workers.


Anonymous said...

"To claim that McCain or Palin or some other GOP fool would kill more kids than does Obama, is a shamelessly meretricious point of view."
What are you talking about? 11:26 - the comment you're responding to - doesn't claim that in anyway. It says "Sarah Palin for President." It doesn't say anything else. Use your good reading skills.
The obvious take-away there is that unlike Barack Obama, Sarah has absolutely NO desire to kill children and Sarah would immediately stop killing children, intentionally or otherwise. She would immediately end the war - like later that day.

McCain, other Republican candidates? I dunno. Can't speculate on whether or not they want to kill children. They've never come right out and made any policy statements on their personal agenda to kill children, so hard to say. But they ARE White, while Obama is Black. So.
Should we be asking the 2012 candidates?

By the way, you don't credit that photo of the boy with the bandaged hands. I can't find it associated with Yemen, cluster bombs, etc.
I'm going to guess that it's unrelated and is probably a child who picked up a live mine.

Here's a nice photo of an 18 month-old for your collection of dead/injured Middle Eastern children. The world is shit.

Anonymous said...

Here's the bottom line on YEMEN.
Activists (Yemeni, NOT AMERICAN) are marching and protesting in the capital Sanaa and Taiz Thursday, calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to face trial for his government's crackdown on protesters.
Yemeni security forces have frequently used deadly force to try to stop the country's 9-month-old political uprising seeking to topple Saleh's regime. Saleh has rebuffed demands from allies and opponents to quit. [AP]

You can follow along live, if you're really interested in educating yourself.

Saturday (today):
- Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, Yemen's vice-president, has said that the government and opposition are close to finalising a transition deal that would see President Ali Abdullah Saleh leave office.

"We all have a task represented in translating UN Security Council resolution 2014 into action on the ground, and this is a task the ruling party and the opposition must shoulder together," the official SABA news agency quoted Hadi as saying at a meeting with UN envoy Jamal Benomar and ambassadors from the five permanent members of the UN security council.

Yasin Numan, a leader of the opposition alliance has dismissed the remarks as being political posturing and not representative of any real will to bring in changes.

- Yemeni forces, meanwhile, have killed six al-Qaeda-linked fighters in the southern city of Zinjibar, security officials say.

- Finally, Victoria Nuland, the US state department's spokeswoman said during a regular briefing that the US was "deeply troubled" by the continuing violence in Yemen and called for a "prompt investigation" into the deaths of civilians.

* It's nothing to do with a Black president in the United States. *

Also, too, important information about Iraq.
Once upon a time, there was a guy named George Bush and his bitch, Irv Lewis "Scooter" Libby. They lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction programs in the Middle East, claiming that British and CIA intel revealed that Niger sold Iraq "yellowcake" and aluminum tubes. It wasn't true - there was no such deal. It was a concocted story to justify declaring war on Iraq.
When they were caught in the lie, they staged a leak of a key CIA covert operative's identity and character assassination of her spouse (Ambassador Joe Wilson), in order to discredit the truth.

So that's how we came to be at war with Iraq.
President Obama had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Phil. Obviously there are many people in denial about this. But the facts are the facts.

Obama has blood on his hands.

There is no fucking way to excuse it away.

Everyone jumping all over Phil for posting this, ask yourself this: How would you feel about this issue if BUSH were still president? Would you be making excuses for Bush?


Anonymous said...

Voters Have Two Choices: Dems or Disaster. Stop Helping Disaster Win!

As those who follow this blog can tell, I don’t mind being called an “Obamabot.” Not because I’m a “bot” of any kind, but because it means the person calling me that has run out of arguments, and is more gullible than intelligent. You see, the theme of this post is “voters have TWO CHOICES.” That’s because, in almost all cases, voters have, well, two choices.

If you call yourself a progressive, and you don’t stand 100% behind this president and the Democratic Party at this time in our history, then you’re either a right wing plant who’s lying about being a progressive, or you don’t really know what the word “progressive” means. I’ll give you a hint; the root word is “progress.”

I don’t do much hyperbole; it’s not my style. But right now, this country is in the biggest fight of its relatively short life, and the wrong people keep winning the battle. And the number one reason the wrong people keep winning is due to an inability on the part of a small-but-obnoxious portion of the left side of the political spectrum to comprehend that elections are the most important element in a democratic republic. Marching and occupying is not, in itself, an expression of democracy. If such activism is not followed by effective campaign strategy that puts the best available people in office every single time, then it’s pretty much worthless.

Key words there; BEST AVAILABLE. In a democracy as diverse as ours, the best available candidate will rarely be a full-on left winger. Sorry.

My goal with this blog is to start a ripple that eventually becomes a wave that overcomes the wrongheadedness that's become a hallmark of progressive politics. I will always take on the right wing, and take on their huge piles of crap, but our own side of the fence needs an attitude adjustment as well. All of the sweetest and best intentions in the world are wasted if there's no effective follow-through. The biggest reason our country had been moving backward for a generation is the right wing, NOT "conservative Democrats." GOP right wingers are not “conservatives,” they're extremist radicals who will not stop until they’ve undone every single advance this country has made in the last 80 years. I have no idea why; they’re insane.

They have to be stopped. Over the past 32 years, these people have taken a nation that was an economic and social beacon for the rest of the world, and all but trashed it.

Progressives claim they want all kinds of wonderful things to happen to this country. They want a universal, single-payer health care plan. They want banks broken up. They want to take the money out of politics. They want lobbyists to have to follow extremely strict rules. They want to raise taxes on the rich, to pay for programs for the poor. They want everyone to make a living wage. They want great schools. They want strong labor unions. They want to pay teachers more money.

They say they want these things, but it seems that a significant portion of the progressive movement doesn’t get the simple fact that none of those things can ever happen if we don’t populate Congress with people who are at least receptive to such ideas, or at least fill the body with people who won’t stop them from happening. If, after 32 years of neocon domination, you haven't figured out that the current incarnation of the Republican Party is the biggest enemy to progress we face, then stop pretending you’re smart about politics. I hear baseball card collecting is a rewarding hobby; try that instead.

...This is the cognitive dissonance that invades the thinking of many on what some of us have come to call the “emo left.”

...Voters have two choices every November, between competence and disaster. When you trash “the Democrats” mercilessly, the Republicans gain. And if you don’t think we lose when Republicans gain, then you haven’t been paying attention.

Anonymous said...

9:06, stop trying to change the subject.

But you can't say in truth that Obama DOESN'T have blood on his hands, can you, in the matter of the Bush wars he's continued and the way he's continued them, and the wars he's started on his own? Because if you do say that, then you'd have to say the same thing about Bush... you know, one of those Republicans you condemn so harshly.

Well, I have news for you. When Democrats act like Republicans - as too many of them, especially including Obama, too often do - I'm going to call them out on it.

Obama has blood on his hands. PERIOD. Stop enabling him with your pathetic blind worship.

He's just another fucking politician. He promised hope and change that were dead on the ground from day one of his administration - starting with his choice of that bigoted, divisive fat fucker Rick Warren to bless his inauguration. A choice a Republican would have made.

Fuck Obama.

wendy i said...

Geez Munger the exercise you get jumping to conclusions is astounding. In keeping with your conclusions I conclude that you shouldn't be at UAA in any capacity as in my opinion you are dangerous. I will be writing the chancellor tonight.